The latest and much-anticipated IAEA report on Iran was distributed to members of the Board of Governors in Vienna — and almost immediately leaked to the press.
What does it say?
It can be read in full here: here.
It starts right out with this statement, rebuffing Iran’s efforts to negotiate or wheedle an arrangement [it’s been called “buying time”] to get a better deal, rather than a new [this would be the 7th] round of sanctions either through the UN Security Council, or enacted unilaterally by those states who feel the strongest about this matter:
“The Security Council has affirmed that the steps required by the Board of Governors in its resolutions are binding on Iran. The relevant provisions of the aforementioned Security Council resolutions were adopted under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, and are mandatory, in accordance with the terms of those resolutions”.
Here’s the immediate diplomatic deal — all of this is spelled right up front in the IAEA report”
“In a letter dated 26 May 2011, H.E. Dr Fereydoun Abbasi, Vice President of Iran and Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), informed the Director General that Iran would be prepared to receive relevant questions from the Agency on its nuclear activities after a declaration by the Agency that the work plan (INFCIRC/711) had been fully implemented and that the Agency would thereafter implement safeguards in Iran in a routine manner. In his reply of 3 June 2011, the Director General
informed Dr Abbasi that the Agency was neither in a position to make such a declaration, nor to conduct safeguards in Iran in a routine manner, in light of concerns about the existence in Iran of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. On 19 September 2011, the Director General met Dr Abbasi in Vienna, and discussed issues related to the implementation of Iran’s Safeguards Agreement and other relevant obligations. In a letter dated 30 September 2011, the Agency reiterated its invitation to Iran to reengage with the Agency on the outstanding issues related to possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme and the actions required of Iran to resolve those issues. In a letter dated 30 October 2011, Dr Abbasi referred to his previous discussions with the Director General and expressed the will of Iran ‘to remove ambiguities, if any‘, suggesting that the Deputy Director General for Safeguards (DDG-SG), should visit Iran for discussions. In his reply, dated 2 November 2011, the Director General indicated his preparedness to send the DDG-SG to ‘discuss the issues identified’ in his forthcoming report to the Board“…
The IAEA has expressed somewhat more concern than before — but they’re not hysterical with worry. They gave greater details about some of the allegations contained in earlier IAEA reports on Iran’s nuclear program up to 2003 [when the U.S. invaded neighboring Iraq], at which point Iran was believed to have largely stopped it. But, Iran has apparently maintained some kind of program to continue to monitor the results of its earlier research.
The report says “Since 2002, the Agency has become increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed nuclear related activities involving military related organizations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile, about which the Agency has regularly received new information”.
It also says that “While the Agency continues to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material at the nuclear facilities and LOFs [locations outside facilities where nuclear material is customarily used + a footnote tells us that “All of the LOFs are situated within hospitals”.] declared by Iran under its Safeguards Agreement, as Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation, including by not implementing its Additional Protocol, the Agency is unable to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities. The Agency has serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme. After assessing carefully and critically the extensive information available to it, the Agency finds the information to be, overall, credible. The information indicates that Iran has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device. The information also indicates that prior to the end of 2003, these activities took place under a structured programme, and that some activities may still be ongoing. Given the concerns identified above, Iran is requested to engage substantively with the Agency
without delay for the purpose of providing clarifications regarding possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear programme as identified in the Annex to this report.
The IAEA report complains that “The Agency is still awaiting a substantive response from Iran to Agency requests for further
information in relation to announcements made by Iran concerning the construction of ten new uranium enrichment facilities, the sites for five of which, according to Iran, have been decided, and the construction of one of which was to have begun by the end of the last Iranian year (20 March 2011) or the start of this Iranian year. In August 2011, Dr Abbasi was reported as having said that Iran did not need to build new enrichment facilities during the next two years.25 Iran has not provided information, as requested by the Agency in its letter of 18 August 2010, in connection with its announcement on 7 February 2010 that it possessed laser enrichment technology”.
It also complains that “Contrary to the relevant resolutions of the Board of Governors and the Security Council, Iran has not
suspended work on all heavy water related projects, including the construction of the heavy water moderated research reactor, the Iran Nuclear Research Reactor (IR-40 Reactor), which is subject to Agency safeguards”.
[A footnote tell us that: “The United Nations Security Council has adopted the following resolutions on Iran: 1696 (2006); 1737 (2006); 1747 (2007); 1803 (2008); 1835 (2008); and 1929 (2010)”.]
An important annex discusses “Possible Military Dimensions to Iran’s Nuclear Program” … which we will look at in another post.